Photos: Extremists — from right and left — clash in Berkeley, again

Berkeley protests
The Great Divide: Demonstrators on Saturday, April 15, 2017 in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Richard Nagler

Police made 20 arrests and reported at least eleven injured, with seven needing to go to the hospital, at Saturday’s so-called Patriots Day rally in downtown Berkeley.

Pro-Trump supporters and white supremacists clashed with members of far-left, self-described anti-fascism factions, including the By Any Means Necessary group and Berkeley AntiFa. The riot closed down parts of downtown, including the BART station, and forced the cancellation of the Saturday farmers market. People were pepper-sprayed and M-80 flash fireworks were thrown into the throng. There were fights and lots of yelling. Many people sought out confrontation and conflict throughout the day, and tensions ran high. At its height, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people swarming around Civic Center Park and on surrounding streets.

Police confiscated a stun gun, mace, knives, bear spray, an axe handle, pepper spray and a can filled with concrete, among other things.

In the midst of the melee, there were some who tried to have constructive conversations. An empathy tent had been set up for that purpose. An artist painted a watercolor of the scene from a safe distance, while one man sat calmly meditating.


It was the second time in less than two months that people on the right, including self-proclaimed white supremacists, have come to Berkeley to, they say, express their freedom of speech. The first rally, on March 4, also drew opposition groups, and also turned violent. On both occasions, the pro-Trump demonstrators were met by black-clad protesters, their faces hidden by masks and bandanas, who were determined to stop them from gathering.

Here, a selection of photographs by Berkeleyside staff and contributing photographers Daniel McPartlan, Ted Friedman, David Yee and Pete Rosos.

Berkeley protests
Pro-Trump, anti-fascist rally in Berkeley on April 15. Most of those from the far left covered their faces. Many on the right wore helmets and masks. Photo: Pete Rosos
Protesters for and against President Trump clash in Civic Center Park during a Patriots Day demonstration, in Berkeley, on Saturday, April 15, 2017. There were several arrests. Photo: David Yee
Police search bags of people entering Civic Center Park during a Patriots Day demonstration, in Berkeley, on Saturday, April 15, 2017.Photo: David Yee
Police separate protesters for and against President Trump in Civic Center Park during a Patriots Day demonstration, in Berkeley, on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo: David Yee
Berkeley protests
Pro-Trump, anti-fascist rally in Berkeley on April 15. Photo: Pete Rosos
Berkeley protests
There were many Trump supporters at the rally who protested peacefully, although others on the right as well as the left seemed determined to attack one another. Photo: Pete Rosos
Berkeley protests
Conversations did happen among those attending the rally in downtown Berkeley on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo: Ted Friedman
Berkeley protests
The various sides yelling at one another at the Pro-Trump, anti-fascist rally in Berkeley on April 15. Photo: Pete Rosos
Berkeley protests
Much of the fighting happened at the intersection of Center Street and Milvia Street.  Photo: Pete Rosos
Berkeley protests
This protester was carrying a flag from the fictional Republic of Kekistan. The flag has become a symbol for certain people who congregate online. Photo: Pete Rosos
Berkeley protests
While the farmers market was cancelled, Riverdog Farms showed up anyway because one of the partners said he would not be deterred. Tim Mueller said he sold one-tenth of the produce he usually sells on a Saturday. Photo: Ted Friedman
Berkeley protests
Berkeley police called for mutual support for the rally. Here an Oakland police officer talks with a protester, who is carrying a homemade shield. Photo: Ted Friedman
Berkeley protests
A man who was pepper sprayed gets his eyes treated. Many protesters brought bottles of milk and water to pour into eyes to stop the burning. Photo: Ted Friedman
Berkeley protests
Smoke envelops protesters at the April 15 riot in downtown Berkeley. Many protesters tossed M-80s, a type of illegal firework, into the crowd, prompting people to flee. Photo: Pete Rosos
Extremist rally in downtown Berkeley on Saturday April 15, 2017. Photo: Ted Friedman
Black-clad protesters pushed dumpsters around during the rally. Here is a scene of garbage burning. Photo: Ted Friedman
Berkeley protests
One protester wore a stylized mask of Guy Fawkes, who was involved in a plot to blow up the House of Lords in 1605. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
American flags being burned could be seen at the rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Patriots rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Patriots rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Disagreements between the various sides were a common site. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
There were hundreds of people taking photos and shooting video at the rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017, observers, journalists and participants. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Throughout the day, people from both sides attacked one another, often causing bloody wounds. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Some of the protesters were candid about their anti-Muslim and racist opinions. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
The Berkeley Police Department called in almost every officer to work on April 15, 2017 and also requested mutual aid from the Oakland Police Department. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Berkeley Police established a “no-man’s land” in the center of Civic Center Park. Those supporting the Trump agenda, as well as other right-wing agendas stood on one side; those who said they were fighting fascism, racism and homophobia stood on the other – until the fighting broke out. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Patriots rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
An “empathy tent” was plastered with signs offering to listen. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
One woman handed out flowers to the protesters. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Jodan, a rare Berkeley Trump supporter, attended the rally with his dog. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Berkeley protests
Many protesters wore helmets to protect their heads from projectiles, and goggles to protect their eyes from pepper spray. The protester on the right is also wearing shoulder guards. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Signs extolling various positions were posted around Berkeley. Here, members of the Antifa contingent try to change the meaning of the sign by scraping off the “Anti.” Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Patriots rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Starting around 1 p.m., the rally moved to the streets, and the two sides began beating each other up. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Patriots rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Patriots rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Paramedics treat injured people after protesters for and against President Trump clashed in Civic Center Park during a Patriots Day demonstration, in Berkeley, on Saturday, April 15, 2017. There were several arrests. Photo: David Yee ©2017
A man meditates in the midst of an extremist left and right rally in downtown Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Berkeley protests
Protesters used flag poles and other sticks as weapons. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Berkeley protests
Among the chaos, an artist found a moment of peace. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Lloyd Ferris and his wife, Berkeley residents, sit near the Peace Wall at Civic Center Park talking with a Trump supporter after the ‘Patriots Day rally’ that turned violent in Berkeley on Saturday, April 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor

To see more photos, check out Ted Friedman’s Flickr page and David Yee’s Smug mug page.

Read more about the clashes that have happened in Berkeley since the election of President Donald Trump.